according to the door frame next to the refrigerator

by Kate LaDew

the one with the little dents and grooves

from your father’s midnight snacks

you were four-feet three inches tall

the coroner told us four-five, the answer to

a sudden question I still don’t know why I asked

and I am angry, every time, when I count those two missing lines

thinking these little numbers

these little pencil strokes, the absence of them,

are what will finally make my heart burst

once and for all and forever

Kate LaDew is a graduate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BA in Studio Arts. She lives in Graham, NC with her cat, Charlie Chaplin. Her writing is greatly influenced by Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, which Kate read in high school and has since rediscovered. The straightforward way Morrison writes about lives and situations that might be foreign to most people allows one to, while not completely understand another person’s predicament, at least become invested in its outcome. This leads to a much more empathetic view of the world that rises above pity and helps establishes kinship.